GraphQL is Everywhere!

I find GraphQL extremely fun and empowering tech to work with, even as a novice just getting started. You've probably heard the elevator pitch before: it allows you to ask for exactly the data you need whenever you need it (probably at the component level), and it arrives as lovely JSON data for your usage.

I see it used as part of modern website builds all the dang time. The overall vibe is, "I want to do whatever I want on the front end, and that actually allows for more back-end choices as well." And by "whatever" on the front end, that generally means a fancy SPA-ish JavaScript-powered thing or a static-site generator-ish thing.

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An Overview of Render Props in React

An Overview of Render Props in React

Using render props in React is a technique for efficiently re-using code. According to the React documentation, "a component with a render prop takes a function that returns a React element and calls it instead of implementing its own render logic." To understand what that means, let’s take a look at the render props pattern and then apply it to a couple of light examples.

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CSS Animations and Transitions in Email

We don't generally think of CSS animations or transitions inside of email, or really any movement at all outside of an awkward occasional GIF. But there is really no reason you can't use them inside HTML emails, particularly if you do it in a progressive enhancement-friendly way. Like, you could style a link with a hover state and a shaking animation, but if the animation (or even the hover) doesn't work, it's still a functional link. Heck, you can use CSS grid in email, believe it or not.

Jason Rodriguez just wrote Understanding CSS Animations in Email: Transitions and Keyframe Animations that covers some of the possibilities. On the supported list of email clients that support CSS transitions and keyframe animations is Apple Mail, Outlook, and AOL mail, among others.

Other things to look at:

color-adjust

The color-adjust property is described by the spec as "preserving colors in different-capability devices." You know how there are phones, tablets and other devices out there without retina-quality screens? Well, this property provides the browser with a hint to make decisions about how to handle colors based on that quality.

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Why monday.com is the Universal Team Management Tool for Your Team

This platform is perfect for teams sized at 2-to-200 — and gives every employee the same level of transparency.

Every project management tool seeks to do the same instrumental thing: keep teams connected, on task and on deadline to get major initiatives done. But the market is getting pretty crowded, and for good reason — no platform seems to have gotten the right feel for what people need to see, and how that information should be displayed so that it’s both actionable/relevant and contextualized.

That’s why monday.com is worth a shot. The platform is based off a simple, but powerful idea: that as humans, we like to feel like we’re contributing to part of a greater/effort good — an idea that sometimes gets lost in the shuffle as we focus on the details of getting stuff done. So projects are put onto a task board (think of it like a digital whiteboard), where everyone can have the same level of visibility into anyone else who’s contributing a set of tasks. That transparency breaks down the silos between teams that cause communication errors and costly project mistakes — and it’s a beautiful, simple way to connect people to the processes that drive forward big business initiatives.

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Keyboard-Only Focus Styles

Like Eric Bailey says, if it's interactive, it needs a focus style. Perhaps your best bet? Don't remove the dang outlines that focusable elements have by default. If you're going to rock a button { outline: 0; }, for example, then you'd better do a button:focus { /* something else very obvious visually */ }. I handled a ticket just today where a missing focus style was harming a user who relies on visual focus styles to navigate the web.

But those focus styles are most useful when tabbing or otherwise navigating with a keyboard, and less so when they are triggered by a mouse click. Now we've got :focus-visible! Nelo writes:

TLDR; :focus-visible is the keyboard-only version of :focus.

Also, the W3C proposal mentions that :focus-visible should be preferred over :focus except on elements that expect a keyboard input (e.g. text field, contenteditable).

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Dark modes with CSS

With the introduction of dark mode in macOS, Safari Technology Preview 68 has released a new feature called prefers-color-scheme which lets us detect whether the user has dark mode enabled with a media query.

That’s right. If this becomes a little bit more supported in other browsers, then we might potentially soon have a way to toggle on night modes with a few lines of CSS!

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CSS and Network Performance

JavaScript and images tend to get the bulk of the blame for slow websites, but Harry explains very clearly why CSS is equally to blame and harder to deal with:

  1. A browser can’t render a page until it has built the Render Tree;
  2. the Render Tree is the combined result of the DOM and the CSSOM;
  3. the DOM is HTML plus any blocking JavaScript that needs to act upon it;
  4. the CSSOM is all CSS rules applied against the DOM;
  5. it’s easy to make JavaScript non-blocking with async and defer
    attributes;
  6. making CSS asynchronous is much more difficult;
  7. so a good rule of thumb to remember is that your page will only render as quickly as your slowest stylesheet.

There are lots of options to do better with this, including some interesting things that HTTP/2 unlocks.

Check out Šime Vidas's takeaways as well. It's all fascinating, but the progressive rendering stuff is particularly cool. I suspect many CSS-in-JS libraries could/should help with doing things this way.

A Bunch of Options for Looping Over querySelectorAll NodeLists

A common need when writing vanilla JavaScript is to find a selection of elements in the DOM and loop over them. For example, finding instances of a button and attaching a click handler to them.

const buttons = document.querySelectorAll(".js-do-thing");
// There could be any number of these! 
// I need to loop over them and attach a click handler.

There are SO MANY ways to go about it. Let's go through them.

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